WHOO-AM 990 

Original Call Letters: WHOO

Originally Licensed: Dec. 5, 1947 

Original City of License: Orlando  

Original Frequency: 990 

Origin of Call Letters: 

Original Power: 10,000 Day/5,000 Night

Original Location: Studios: Hotel Fort Gatlin 545 North Orange Ave. Transmitter: Old Fairvilla Rd.

Original Format: Full Service/Block Programming

Network Affiliation(s):

Associated Press


1947-Orlando Daily Newspapers, Inc. 

1949-Radio Station WHOO 

1950-Orlando Daily Newspapers 
1951-Edward Lamb

1952-WHOO, Inc
1957-Ted Estabrook Associates ($250,000)

1957-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
1958-Bluegrass Broadcasting

1978-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Bluegrass Broadcasting)
1987-TK Communications ($13.5 million)
1994-Granum Communications ($11.5 million)
1997-Cox Broadcasting
2001-American Broadcasting Co. ($5 million)
2003-Radio Disney Group (subsidiary of ABC)
2014-Pennsylvania Media Associates, Inc. ($1.3 million) (Salem Communications)

History Of  Call Letters and Formats:

WHOO-1947-Pop   Broadcasting from the Fort Gatlin Hotel 
WHOO-1968-Country  "Country Gentlemen"
WMMA-1987-Adult Contemporary "Magic 99"
WHTQ-1988-Rock (simulcast of WHTQ 96.5 FM)
WHOO-1988-Big Bands/Adult Standards  (Music Of Your Life)
WHOO-1989-Classic Country
WHOO-1991-Rock (simulcast of WHTQ 96.5 FM)
WHOO-1993-Adult Standards (ABC Radio "Stardust" format)
WDYZ- 2001-Radio Disney-Children  
WDYZ-2015-Silent/Licensed  (Mar 18, 2015)
WDYZ-2015-Spanish Contemporary Christian (Apr 9, 2015)

History of WHOO

WHOO would broadcast from the Hotel Fort Gatlin in 1947. 

Orlando Morning Sentinel  9-27-47
WHOO, first owned by the company that published the Orlando Morning  Sentinel and the Reporter-Star newspapers, went on the air on Dec. 5, 1947.

WHOO_1948_ad.jpg (294240 bytes)

A formal dress, gala grand opening event was held along with an "invitation only" reception and dance. In the glare of Hollywood searchlights, Bob Chester's New York Orchestra performed and the "western" band the WHOOT Owls were introduced. Reports said 5,000 guests walked across a red carpet "where microphoned-society reporters described their dress. WHOO maintained their own bands, The WHOO Society Band and The WHOOT Owls, a western band. WHOO had the first girl singer to appear on a regular basis. 990 also had the largest sports staff at any local station in 1947. Among other "firsts" at WHOO included; the first radio city news room employing three reporters to gather, write and report local news. WHOO was the first station in the country to purchase  a "new type" wire recorder. The "Sunday Funnies" were read each Sunday. Band concerts were also a regular feature arranged by WHOO's Music Director Joe McLees.
In 1951 the newspaper company sold WHOO-AM 990 and WHOO-FM 92.3 to Edward Lamb, a  Toledo attorney and broadcaster.
Chuck Wilson fills in some more history of WHOO. "... John Rutledge was the manager when I was there and he worked out of the "Executive Offices" in the Gatlin Hotel on Orange Avenue. The sales force was also located there. I believe everyone else was out at Silver Star Road, which is where the transmitter was located. To consolidate the operation (the Gatlin offices weren't that nice either), John moved everyone to a new location on Rosalind Avenue, but I'm not sure if there wasn't a short transition move for the Executive Office/Sales Staff from the Gatlin location to the Silver Star location prior to going downtown (Rosalind Avenue.) I worked as an announcer/traffic manager/sort-of program director/meter reader/pump primer on the FM side. I had to keep the pump on the well primed or the air conditioner wouldn't work! Anyway, when the building on Rosalind Avenue was remodeled (boy, did it look good!), everyone moved from Silver Star Road to the new offices downtown ... except me! You talk about desolate! There was nothing out there. The transmitter was so far out that they had to pipe in sunshine. I would get there at 5:00 am and leave at 1:00 pm and the only person I would see was the guy who relieved me at 1:00. At first, WHOO only broadcast from downtown and then they started broadcasting from the transmitter site after midnight. Few people realized the facilities at the transmitter were probably as good as, if not better than, any station in town...except, maybe, for WDBO-AM 580. Somewhere around 1960-61 everything moved from Rosalind Avenue back to the facilities on Silver Star Road (is isn't cheap to move a radio station). John spent a lot of money remodeling the facility and it was great to have everyone back out there.

From Roger Simmons www.rogersimmons.com  
An ad from 1947 telling about ABC Radio Network programming coming to WHOO.

Martin Agronsky-sponsored by Orange Buick. Long-time news figure. He began his career in newspaper, moved to radio, and finally TV. Journalist  

Agronsky's career spanned more than 50 years. Agronsky was a pioneer in political convention coverage. In 1948, he reported on the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann, and his interviewed Texas governor John Connolly on Nov. 27, 1963, just days after he was shot in the presidential motorcade. This respect was manifest when, during the civil rights protests in Selma, Ala., in 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. said that he would grant an interview only to Agronsky. Martin Agronsky died July 25, 1999, of congestive heart failure at age 84.

The Breakfast Club
-Don McNeill's morning broadcast aired from 1933 to1968. McNeill's radio show became the longest running daily network show in history.

My True Story-Began in 1943 on ABC radio. The program ran for 17 years and was presented in cooperation with True Story magazine.

Galen Drake-1944-1960s. Sponsored by the Kellogg Co.

Dorothy Kilgallen-1947-"Star Time"

Ted Malone-"Westinghouse Presents"

Tom Breneman-"Breakfast in Hollywood"  was  a popular national program of the 1940s in which the host would visit with celebrities in a restaurant he owned. 
Breakfast In Hollywood Opening

Tommy Bartlett-"Welcome Travelers
"-A daytime talk show, set in a hotel, that originated on radio in 1947. Host, Tommy Bartlett, claimed it was the first "call-in" radio program. Sponsored by Crisco and Ivory Snow.
Robert Baukhage-"Baukhage Talking"-1942-1953-News and commentary. Hilmar Robert Baukhage announced the start of World War II in a historic on-the-scene broadcast from Berlin in 1939, then on Dec. 7, 1941, aired the first live newscast from the White House with a marathon eight-hour report on the Pearl Harbor attack; in Washington, D.C. With "Baukhage Talking" as his sign-on, the broadcaster was an NBC and ABC mainstay for two decades. Baukhage died in 1976 at the age of 87.

John Nelson-"Bride and Groom"-During each episode host John Nelson , would quiz real-life couples about their relationship. Then, the happy couple was whisked off  for their wedding as sidekick Phil Hanna sang the couple's chosen wedding song. Afterwards, the couple would be showered with "gifts".   
Bride and Groom Opening

Tom Moore-"Ladies Be Seated"-Began in 1947. It was an audience participation show originating from Chicago. Sponsored by The Toni Company, the makers of Toni Home Permanent.  The show also starred Johnny Olsen. It was produced by Allan Funt

Johnny Olsen-1947-"Ladies Be Seated"

Paul Whiteman-1947-1948-"Paul Whiteman Club"
Terry and the Pirates- This series was a fifteen minute five-times-a-week serial  from the comic strip of the same name. 
Terry Lee, was portrayed by Jackie Kelk, Cliff Carpenter, Owen Jordan and Bill Fein at different times during its radio run. Terry's buddy Pat Ryan was played by Bud Collier, Warner Anderson, Bob Griffin and Larry Alexander.
Jack Armstrong  and the Sky King Show-30 minute program heard over ABC from 1947 to 1950 on a staggered  broadcast schedule.  One week Jack Armstrong would be broadcast on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule and the next week as a Tuesday-Thursday schedule, with Sky King on the opposite schedule. Wheaties was the sponsor. 
Jack Armstrong
         Sky King Show   

Elmer Davis-News and commentary-well-known news reporter, author, the Director of the United States Office of War Information during World War II
Treasury Show-News
The Clock-Mystery-Originally broadcast in England then from New York and finally, Hollywood
Tales of Willie Piper-starring Billy Redfield
Darts for Dough-Sunday evening game show-sponsored by General Electric. Poni (Jane) Adams-contestant escort

Mr. President-Little known facts about our Presidents. Sponsored by Dr. Pepper and starring Edward Arnold.

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet-Fridays  
WHOO Survey 12-10-66.jpg (491098 bytes)
1966 WHOO music survey from Steve Kennedy

WHOO "All American" Blazer Patch from 1966 period 
From Dick Shane (Camnitz)

Penny Postcard ad WHOO.jpg (22224 bytes)
Penny Post Card 

WHOO Fabulous Fifty 1962.jpg (327617 bytes)
WHOO "Fabulous 50" Survey
Courtesy of Dick Camnitz

WHOO Personalities

Larry Scarborough-1947-Program Director/Host of "Who Knows" a quiz program between competing Orange County School students from 4th, 5th and 6th graders-Orlando Daily Newspapers

Delmar "Radio Nick" Nicholson
-1947-Ranch and Grove Editor-Orlando Daily Newspapers, Inc.   Biography

Ted Covington-1947-Orlando Daily Newspapers

John Charles Thomas-1947-Chief Announcer/News-Orlando Daily Newspapers, Inc.
Franklin Stevenson-1947-News Director-Orlando Daily Newspapers, Inc.
Joseph McLees-1947-Musical Director-Orlando Daily Newspapers, Inc.

Mickie Evans-1947-1950/1955-1957-"South's Fastest and Highest Girl Yodeler"-Orlando Daily Newspapers, Inc/Radio Station WHOO

(James Lawrence) "Bill" Berry-1947-1949-Orlando Daily Newspapers, Inc.   In Memory

Tom Sawyer-1949-Program Director/4:30PM-5:30PM-M-F/6AM-9AM-Sat-Radio Station WHOO
Clarence Daniel-1950-Program Director-Radio Station WHOO
Phil Gaines-1950-News Director-Radio Station WHOO
Ruth Smith-1950-Women's Director-Radio Station WHOO

990_WHOO_AM_calendar_1951.jpg (133479 bytes)
courtesy of Steve Kennedy

Orlando Sentinel 1948

Pat Patillo-1952-Sports-WHOO, Inc.

Gordon Towne-1953-6AM-8:30AM/2:30PM-4PM M-F/Farm News Director-WHOO, Inc.

Walt Sickles-1954-Program Director/"Uncle Walt Show"-5:30PM-5:55PM-M-F/8:45AM-9AM-Sat-WHOO, Inc.

Jim Wilson-1953-12:30PM-2:30PM-M-F/7PM-8PM-Sat-WHOO, Inc.

Dan Daniel-1953-Sports-6:15-6:30PM-M-Sat-WHOO, Inc.
Walter Mitchell-1953-Promotions Manager-WHOO, Inc./1954-Program Director/News Director-WHOO, Inc.
Al Stockmeier-1954-Sports Director/1955-General Manager/Commercial Manager-WHOO, Inc.
Boo Malicord-1953-Women's Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
Claude Rainey-1955-Program Director/Sports Director/Promotions Manager-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
Dallas Crutcher-1955-News Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
Charles Reiner-1955-Farm News Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
Freda Hilton-1955-Women's Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)

John Lofton-1953-News/1956-Program Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
Bill Clark-1958-Program Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
Raymond Holbrook-1958-Program Director/Women's Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
Frank Lynn-1958-News Director/Farm Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
Tony Chastain-1958-Central Florida's first talk show host-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
From Bob Andrews; ...Tony was a very controversial figure, taking on such subjects as legalized prostitution, etc. (this in 1958); an extremely well-read person with no formal education..."

Clay Daniels
-1958-Program Director/Afternoon drive-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid) 
Clay was also a singer, recording for SoundCot in the 70's. He, Roy Marler and Jeff Blair put together "The Three Amigos". Clay was the voice for Sonny King's Orange Buick in Orlando.
 In Memory
Ed Ripley-1959-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)

(Robert J.) "Rock"  Robinson
-1959-1967-Program Director/Mornings
-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
     Biography          In Memory   
Photo Courtesy of Dick Camnitz

Cecil West
-1959-News Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)

Gene Stuart-19
59-Production Director/1961-Operations Manager-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
Bob Carrol-1960-News Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
Terry Wood-1960-1962-6PM-Midnight/Production Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
From Terry; "The WHOO gig was my first and I was still in high school at Wm. R. Boone.  In the last semester of my senior year I was doing 6PM to midnight Sunday through Friday (I negotiated Saturday off so I could have a date or two).  John Rutledge was the GM there then and in 1961 he promoted me to Production Director.

David Riddle-1961-Sat.-6PM-Midnight/Sun-10AM-2PM & 6PM-1AM-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)

Jim Ivey
-1960-1961-6PM-Midnight-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)  Biography   In Memory
Dick Wilson-1964-Program Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)

Charlie Champion-1964-1966-Program Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)                                                           

Dick Shannon (Dick Camnitz)-1965-1966-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
Pete Porter (Don Lapp)-1966-1968-M-F-Noon-3pm,Sat-Noon-6pm/Music Director-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)
Mac Allen (Joseph Emmett McDermott)-1967-Mon-Fri-6am-9am, Sat-6am-Noon-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)

Marty Stebbins
-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)  Biography    In Memory

Bob Nyles-1974-1988-Nights/Afternoons/Music Director/Sales-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Horton-Kincaid)   Biography

Bucks Braun-1979-1985-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Bluegrass Broadcasting)   Biography      In Memory

June Myers-1983-1985-WHOO Radio, Inc. (Bluegrass Broadcasting)  Biography

Wild Bill Carter   Biography   
From Dick Camnitz; "One evening in the late mid 60s, it was Wild Bill Carter who played "Hillbilly Heaven" over and over until a large crowd of listeners converged on the WHOO Road studios breaking in and doing damage to the station.  Bill was one of an entire station of DJs who were hired by WHOO from Chattanooga, Tennessee to attempt to catch WLOF(-AM 950)."
Brad Bartlett  

Allen Dennis (Dennis Glab)  In Memory

Dave Ralston
Jack Hayse-Program Director/Afternoon drive

Bob Andrews Biography     In Memory

Peter Jay (Pete Forgione)
   Biography     In Memory
Ron Fraiser-Mid-days
Gilbert Brooks

Russ Wheeler
"Big" Bill Smith-was a radio technician in the Air Force at Orlando and worked the 6 to midnight shift at WHOO as the engineer and FM DJ.  Rock Robinson worked the tower at Chastain's restaurant on Orange Blossom Trail at the same time. He often mentioned Bill on the air as "Big Bill Smith" at the transmitter site." Bill is 6' 8" tall.
"Cool Chris" (Christopher Hanna)
Dave Ralston
Bill Clifford-Weekends

John Dolive-News Director
Tom Dooley (Tom Goins)-Midnight-6am-Mon-Sat 


Country ID


Here's Bob, with WHOO GM Bob Johnson in 1966

The same two Bobs at WDBO in 2003

Al Dunaway
Mornings. Al would always have a "second call to coffee". Which was the second hour of his show. 
From Bob Nyles; "...Al is retired and spends his time delivering emergency vehicles around the country..." You might recognize Al as the voice of Southeast Steel commercials.
© Al Dunaway

Mike Burger-Mid days for nine years, eventually taking over the Program Director position. Mike returned to Orlando for four years, then back to Dallas.
Aug. 2010-Mike announced his retirement. Mike's last weather segment will be Sept. 4th. He said he plans to remain in North Texas.
Bob Grayson-Program Director

Tom Haley   Biography
Gary Anstaett

“Big” Billy Love-M-F-6pm-Midnight, Sunday-6PM-Midnight

Johnny Walker-M-F-3PM-6PM
Bill Cody

Jim Maloy-Mon-Fri-9am-Noon, Sun-Noon-6PM

Bill Frangus
Adrian Charles- News Director
Ray Beale
Clayton Delaney (Ron Jones)

Jim ''Kingbird'' King

The Kingbird

Alan Spector-News

"Large" Larry English                   

For years, WHOO would broadcast live shows from “The Rainbow Ranch” on the weekends, (later "The Joint in the Woods"), in Longwood. 
Location: General Hutchison Parkway, next to Big Tree Park, Longwood

Dave Edwards
has been kind enough to supply much information and many of the pictures on this site. Here's a picture and information he sent. "...Around 1984 WHOO-FM changed it's name to "96 Country" to compete with "K-92 FM." The station became "Q-96FM" (AOR) just before Bluegrass Broadcasting sold it. (Here)...is the cover of the WHOO 2nd annual reunion booklet which was held at the central Florida fairgrounds in the fall of 1984..."

Bill Michaels

Mike Goode-Afternoons

Steve Kennedy-Nights

Rick Saylor

Frank Vaught-Sports  
In Memory

Denise Gainer-Reporter/News Director
Paul Williamson-News

Chuck Goulder
In Memory
Lee Ronan
James Moore-"Sudsy Boiler"-Midnight-5AM  In Memory

Tom McCloud-Traffic Reporter

Other Names in WHOO History
Martin Anderson-1947-President-Orlando Daily Newspapers/1949-President-Radio Station WHOO
James Lawrence "Bill" Berry-1947-1949-Orlando Daily Newspapers   In Memory
Walter Speight, Jr.-1947-General Manager-Orlando Daily Newspapers
George Newhart-1947-Advertsing Manager/Promotions Manager-Orlando Daily Newspapers
Stanley Beck-1947-Chief Engineer-Orlando Daily Newspapers
Clarence Braccy-1949-General Manager/Commercial Manger-Radio Station WHOO
Betty Jean Kline-1949-Promotions Manager-Radio Station WHOO
Gene Dasiell-1949-Chief Engineer-Radio Station WHOO

Carl Hallberg-1950-1959-Commercial Manager-Radio Station WHOO/1953-Commercial Manager/General Manager-WHOO, Inc. 
In Memory
Josephine Bledsoe-1950-Traffic Director-Radio Station WHOO
Ann Rupert-1952-Promotions Manager-WHOO, Inc.
Don Compton-1952-Chief Engineer-WHOO, Inc.

Edward Lamb-1953-President-WHOO, Inc.
Donald Compton-1953-Chief Engineer-WHOO, Inc.
Ted Estabrook-1957-Manager-Ted Estabrook Associates/1958-President/General Manager-WHOO Radio, Inc.
Red Weiss-1958-Commercial Manager/Promotions Manager-WHOO Radio, Inc.

John Rutledge
-1958-President/General Manager-WHOO Radio, Inc.
Biography   In Memory
John Rutledge and George Stuart.jpg (44633 bytes)John Rutledge (standing) and George Stuart (seated)  
                    photo courtesy of Steve Rutledge

Steve Rutledge tells us about this photo of his dad, John. "The photo was taken between 1965 and 1967.  He still had short hair and was wearing suits.  That didn't last much longer though.  George Stuart and my dad were great friends. George Stuart's (Office Supply store) was across the street, Rosalind, from the original WHOO. He was THE office supply guy in Orlando.  He had three sons that went to Edgewater.  I went to Boone. They were George, Jacob and not sure about the third one."
Marvin Rothchild-1958-Commercial Manager-WHOO Radio, Inc.
Charles Chrisom-1958-Chief Engineer-WHOO Radio, Inc.
H. Hart Hagan-1958-WHOO Radio, Inc.
C. A. Baker-1958-Chief Engineer-WHOO Radio, Inc.

Garvis Kincaid-
1958-Founder of Bluegrass Broadcasting
O.C. Halyard-1958-Manager-Bluegrass Broadcasting
Hugh Robinson-1959-Operatiosn Manager/"The Hugh Robinson Show"-6AM-10AM-Mon-Sat-WHOO Radio, Inc.
Donald Welsh-1959-Commercial Manager-WHOO Radio, Inc.

Dale Wright (Jimmy Dale Wright)-1964-Operations Manager-WHOO Radio, Inc.    In Memory
Max Rein-1979-Executive Vice President/General Manager

Roy Adams

Bob Baker-Program Director

Andy Wilson
Ken Bowman
Jack Hayes
Jim Jordan-Vice President/General Manager 
Bob Hood-General Manager
Roy Nielsen
Carole Smock-Advertising Manager   In Memory
Bill Stakelin-General Manager

Bill Andrews

Bob Johnson-General Manager 

What's New

Biographies In Memory
/ FM 
Misc. Chronology What's News?